Tada! It’s like a shampoo commercial
|This episode gives us a couple examples of the girls trying to make some changes in their life. Do they succeed? Or is that really the point?|
Nothing Happens Unless You Try
The fidgeting with the bear was an excellent touch
I thought that the arc of the show wouldn’t even get to the point where Sakie is trying to overtly appeal to Tetsuo, but this week started some of that. She’s gotten to a point where she’s fantasizing about Tetsuo while she’s drunk, using a teddy bear as a stand-in, but that’s not really acting on it. Not until Ugaki calls and gives her a few pushes does she actually start thinking about doing something. I liked a few of the things about the exchange between Ugaki and Sakie. One is how she sobered up pretty quick when he called, which can be a fun little effect. Lots of people get ‘drunk’ behaviorally much more than physically, but that is mostly just because they are able to relax with it. When something else happens to change the mood, they’re just not as drunk as you’d have thought they were. Another is how it’s kinda weird that Ugaki would call her up just out of the blue and bring up her love life, encouraging her to act on it. It’s a window into a relationship where Ugaki definitely cares for Sakie, as they mentioned like a father, but definitely goes farther than most fathers would in encouraging her. I think that he’s a bit of a weirdo, and I think that Sakie realizes that, but also that he is one of the only people who actually understands the way she is, and that he’s right about her conundrum.
Having a nice conversation
And Sakie’s just falling more in love with him
So finally we get Sakie coming to talk to Tetsuo, and using it as a chance to appeal to him. This time she’s able to give him a taste of the effect, and even though he doesn’t give much of a reaction, there’s definitely an effect. Sakie’s disappointed that he doesn’t really react, but she’s also pushing for one, and doesn’t really stop. And maybe if she reflects on what Ugaki said before, his effort to not show a reaction will be something that she continues to appreciate. It’s an interesting position for her to be in, one that she really got to a couple weeks ago, with the idea that she likes that he doesn’t react, but she also likes that he is affected by her. And I think that’s what most people are looking for, actually: They want someone who is attracted to them, but who is not going to point out what they might consider their biggest flaw. Sakie definitely has a complicated relationship with her nature. She realizes that it’s part of her, and that she goes to great lengths to deal with it, but she hasn’t gotten to a point where she has accepted that it can be a good thing to be herself.
A different look, and a different reaction
But Tetsuo gets to some of that, when he floats the idea that maybe she could dress a little more casually. It’s kind of interesting that he says this right after he has to make such an effort to not show a reaction and after describing her in his head as having a sex appeal that he can outright see. But I have been in this camp from the beginning, that there’s nothing wrong with Sakie being an attractive person. And Tetsuo makes a good point that it’s all on a spectrum, and just because her attractiveness ceiling is a lot higher than most women, that doesn’t mean that her target needs to be “completely unattractive.” But I can completely see Sakie’s reasoning, from a “woman who doesn’t want to be bothered too much” standpoint and also from a reciprocal standpoint. She’s worried that someone would want to be with her solely because of her perceived attractiveness (which it should be argued is her only attractiveness, and she shouldn’t be ashamed of being very attractive), and that she might not be able to tell if someone actually liked her for her other qualities, no matter how much she liked that person back. And the real thing that ends up attracting her to him is that he is able to get past that and still engage with her as a person, a professional.
And he certainly is affected
Sometimes Not Even When You Try
She’s not a very good actor
Yuki’s interested in getting some of her own control over her abilities. But things don’t go quite as easily for her. For one, unlike Sakie, there’s not really a mechanism that she knows of that governs her production of cold air. Right now, it’s more of an involuntary response to her own feelings, with ones that are distinctly anathema to the whole idea of controlling them being the ones that cause the effect, namely negative emotions and anxiety. So when she’s happy or concentrating, it’s hard to replicate those conditions. She tries pretending that she’s upset, but her attempts are definitely more bad acting. And the only real success she has is because she ends up embarrassed by the whole effort, which might work but isn’t particularly sustainable. Plus, I think she ends up realizing that she doesn’t really want to be Hikari’s personal air conditioner at some point.
Could anyone be scared at that?
At some point, the idea of controlling her nature turns into the group thinking about being cooler, leading to a silly story from Machi, who is just too earnest to finish off a scary story well. I actually thought she was doing well with the story, but she’s just not good enough at being deceptive to pull off the ending, so it turns into a joke about her being a dullahan. But her non-dullahan nature gets the best of the other two when they wonder why Machi wears a vest even though it’s probably hotter that way. I think a lot of girls probably would wear one for the same reason. I know that I wear an undershirt in the summer for a similar reason, so that my outer shirt doesn’t get too sweaty.
Maybe we will get farther with Sakie and Tetsuo in this series? Maybe? She seems to be getting more serious about actually trying, spurred on by Ugaki. So maybe we’ll at least get a confession from Sakie by the end of the series, or at least an invitation since with adults, there’s not nearly as much “I like you, go out with me!” as much as “Let’s go out, because I’m interested in learning more about you and seeing if we can like each other.” Although given that Sakie had to skip that kind of thing in high school, she might not be to an adult-style date yet.
It totally looks like him, too
I think that there’s also an interesting point to the show going on about the girls’ natures as demis, and that’s to show that, in at least the ficton of the show, what we ‘know’ about dullahans and vampires and snow women and succubi is nowhere near what the “true nature” of these people has turned out to be. It reinforces the point that nearly all that stuff is myth, folklore, or outright fake, concocted stories based on the fear of the unknown. Acting as if those stories are a way that these girls could be “real” examples of their type is ridiculous. Could Hikari turn into someone who sucks more people’s blood? Sure, but it would really just be playacting, no more ‘real’ than anyone dressing up in stereotypical vampire outfit and assaulting people. The true nature of these demi girls, as has been reiterated multiple times, is that they are normal girls with relatively rare secondary characteristics.